How Do You Include the World? Inclusivity at Matchday

Matchday Mobile beckons in an avalanche of possibilities enabled by AI. While the team is hard at work creating an incredible new football experience, we wanted to tell a little bit about how we are doing it. Our aim is for fans to love the game for it’s engaging gameplay first and foremost. However, one of the key aims for us at Matchday is to unlock the largest possible audience. Football is a truly global sport which spans countries, borders, age and gender. Only by recognising and understanding this will we be able to commit to diversity and inclusion. This isn’t some checkbox item, or a feature that is bolted on later, these are values and pillars upon which all Matchday output stands.

Why… and how?

Unlocking football for everyone isn’t a case of putting a woman on the front cover and shipping the same football game over and over. It doesn’t mean focusing on gender either. What it means is thinking about each part of the game, from how we talk about it, to how it operates, and ensuring we aren’t unintentionally putting up barriers. Think about games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush. These can be enjoyed by such a wide audience in part because they’ve focused on ease of use. A genuinely inclusive football experience means addressing and questioning decisions at every step. There are billions of football fans around the world, yet only a slice of them are catered to by current football games. A situation like this is a clear opportunity, and is our main reason for talking about diversity and inclusivity. The question for us is ‘How can we ensure as many people as possible will enjoy this game?’

By starting from the bottom up, we can think about the foundation to every game, the user interface. We are creating an intuitive and universal UI that welcomes all players. We celebrate the football world, the colours, sounds and crests and badges, while leaving behind legacy menus and complicated controls. By focusing on UI elements that appeal to a broad audience, we ensure our design steers clear of traditional gaming norms. This is about making every player feel at home in Matchday Mobile, including the most avid traditional football fan - and crucially about making final product better for everyone.

The Universal Appeal of Football

It’s fair to say that football is growing globally - but the scale of it is quite staggering. For the 2023 Women’s World Cup, not only was viewership well beyond expectations (almost 2 billion globally!), it was also the first time teams from all six confederations we able to win a match at the tournament.

The 2023 Women’s World Cup saw the number of teams competing jump from 24 to 32, while attendance figures were 500k more than projections. The Final saw 75,784 people in the stands, smashing the previous record of 57,900.

The momentum continues for the younger generation, as the 2023 FIFA Under 17 World Cup had a wonderfully successful comeback. Hosts Indonesia made their first ever appearance, while it was the first time the tournament had been held in South East Asia.

Playing together

A key feature of our game, the Prorata player rating system allows for seamless integration of male and female player cards in Squads, enabling players to form their ultimate team without  barriers. If  you want both Diani and Mbappé on your team, it's possible in Matchday Mobile. This balancing is already something we do across leagues and competitions around the world, so it is a natural extension applying that technology to the game as whole. We believe as young players enter into football fandom, often by knowing a handful of big names, they’ll feel validated when they recognise those players in our game, regardless of gender.

Stars of the Game and Ambassadors

We're proud to be associated with some of the world's finest footballers who serve as ambassadors for Matchday Mobile. Stars like Alexia Putellas, Leo Messi, Yui Hasegawa and others are not just ambassadors for our game; they are role models for football fans everywhere.  We also sponsor the US based Washington Spirit, who’ve just signed FC Barcelona Femeni’s manager Jonatan Giráldez, exciting times ahead for the Spirit! As the game continues to grow, we hope to extend our ambassador network around the world.

Diversity isn't just something we are putting into a game; it's in our team. Our employees and contributors hail from over 30 countries, bringing a wealth of perspectives and ideas. We believe this global approach drives innovation and creativity. Opening up an already talented team to multiple different perspectives has already been a big win for the Matchday team.

Football Focus

From our user interface to our global team, we are committed to creating an environment that celebrates and respects diversity, where everyone feels included and valued. To do that we must open the gates wider and allow football fans in, from Sunday league regulars, to football parents, to the Matchday Mourinhos and fantasy football champions. So what are you waiting for? Join us and join in on Discord, Instagram or X. We’ll see you there, or on the pitch!

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